Brake light ? 96 Chevy Lumina


heymax
05-30-2004, 07:42 PM
When I press my Brakes, only the top brake light in the back window comes on. I have no lights out. The only thing that I can link it too is that when you adjust the Steering wheel, Up or down, they work sometimes. I looked under the dash and I found no frayed wires. I still think the problem is somewhere near the steering column. I've replaced all my light bulbs and when you press the brake pedal, the switich under the dash does activate and only 1 brake light comes on. Any Suggestions? I don't want to bring it to a mechanic yet if it is something simple. Thanks..Max

sysopt
05-31-2004, 04:38 AM
I'm just an amateur mechanic, but I'll bet its the turn signal switch. Its very possible the switch is busted, and therefore no regular brake lights and at the same time the center high mounted light still works because its an independent circuit. The switches on the column are SH*T!!

heymax
05-31-2004, 01:55 PM
I'm just an amateur mechanic, but I'll bet its the turn signal switch. Its very possible the switch is busted, and therefore no regular brake lights and at the same time the center high mounted light still works because its an independent circuit. The switches on the column are SH*T!!
I checked that out and you are correct. I did a test and I applied the brake many times doing different things like with the wheel up and down and right and left and then I turn on my right turn signal and my brake lights worked but when I put it back at center, they didn't, and then i turned on my left turn signal and the right brake light worked but the left did not. All my signals work fine but there must be a wire connection from the main brake lights to the turn signal switch. I too am a amateur mechanic and I really have never had to mess with turn signal switches before so this is new ground for me. Thank you very much for your input. I'm going to check out the price for a new switch. Thanks

heymax
06-06-2004, 01:03 PM
I'm just an amateur mechanic, but I'll bet its the turn signal switch. Its very possible the switch is busted, and therefore no regular brake lights and at the same time the center high mounted light still works because its an independent circuit. The switches on the column are SH*T!!

I just replaced my Turn Signal Switch yesterday. I bought one from Autozone for $54.99. Combined with the correct tools and my Haines Manual, the job was a piece of cake and my brake lights now work perfectly. Usually mechanics get their parts through NAPA and they are one of the most expensive parts suppliers around. I checked there and the same Switch went for 100.00. So with that and Labor, I saved myself around 150.00 to 200.00.

P.S. I was at a Car Dealer yesterday and a guy in front of me bought an Air filter, Spark plugs, Spark plug wire set and a PCV valve all of which were AC-Delco and I nearly fainted when I heard the cashier say that will be 188.00. I can't believe people still go to Car Dealers for parts. I go to 4 and pick the best price. Autozone, Advanced, VIP, and DD Discount. Saving money is what it is always about. Thanks again for the tip on the problem

grovebaby
06-08-2004, 05:27 PM
This sounds like the problem I'm having with my Caprice. My post is in the Caprice forum. I also noticed something in connection with the directionals. I'm going try a few tests. Did you just go ahead and change the switch? Or did you do any checks to determine whether it was the switch?

heymax
06-08-2004, 05:43 PM
This sounds like the problem I'm having with my Caprice. My post is in the Caprice forum. I also noticed something in connection with the directionals. I'm going try a few tests. Did you just go ahead and change the switch? Or did you do any checks to determine whether it was the switch?

I just changed the switch outright because I tested the brakes while turning on the signals and moving the steering wheel and everything pointed to the Turn Signal Switch. If the brake light in your rear window works then it is not the brake switch on the steering column. Try your brakes and at the same time, flip the turn switch to the right and then to the left while still pumping your brake pedal and have someone stand at the rear of the car and tell you if all 3 lights ever come on at the same time. Even if only one main brake light comes on at any time then it is your Turn Signal Switch. Max

grovebaby
06-08-2004, 07:00 PM
I'm back. It looks like it has to do with the tilt movement. It repeated consistently for about 20 times moving the wheel through its range of motion. They would come on when the wheel was at the bottom position, which is where I drive. When raised they would go out. after moving through the full range a bunch of times it started working everywhere. But they have worked for a few days at a time over the last month. The blinkers seem to work okay.

Corndog Man
06-08-2004, 08:16 PM
My 1999 had same problem. I could pull slightly back on idicator arm and they worked. Moving the tilt up and down is really doing the same thing. It cost me $240 at the dealer to correct. I could be wrong but I bet you it's the indicator switch mechanism in the column. It seems to be a common problem on Luminas if you read some of the threads. I didn't dig into it because of the security system and air bag plus I just didin't have time to mess with it.

grovebaby
06-08-2004, 08:54 PM
They're still working. Corndog, my problem is on an 87 Caprice. Thanks for your info. I'll keep the blinkers on the suspect list. Max, did you need any special tools?

Corndog Man
06-08-2004, 09:55 PM
No problem. We ran for a month like that and just pulled abck on the stick after using the turn signal.

I know when you pull a sterring weel, the only tools required are the sterring wheel puller (cheap) and the lock plate compressor (cheap). That'll get you in there to mess around with the signal switch and the tilt. Maybe it shorts after a whileby moving the tilt enough to make them quit working. Good luck with it.

heymax
06-08-2004, 10:18 PM
I'm back. It looks like it has to do with the tilt movement. It repeated consistently for about 20 times moving the wheel through its range of motion. They would come on when the wheel was at the bottom position, which is where I drive. When raised they would go out. after moving through the full range a bunch of times it started working everywhere. But they have worked for a few days at a time over the last month. The blinkers seem to work okay.

Mine did the same thing. If you moved the steering wheel to about mid range they would work but it was definitely the Turn Signal Switch. The power for the brake lights runs through the turn signal Switch so certain movements of the Steering Wheel will connect then disconnect that current. Since putting in the new Switch, I have had no problem. The other guy is correct. You need a Steering Wheel Puller and a Lock Plate removal tool. I got it as a loner tool from Autozone. You put 15.00 down and you get it back when you return it. The biggest thing to get is a Haines manual. Chapters 10 and 12 for Lumina's , Monte Carlo's and Impala's 1995 thru 2001 book number 24048. Check parts store for other years and makes. Good Luck.

P.S. I held the Air Bag like a new born baby and laid it in the back of my old Tempo. Damn

grovebaby
06-08-2004, 10:49 PM
Oh man! I forgot about air bag. I don't know if I have one. Glad you mentioned it!

knucklebuster2
06-08-2004, 11:10 PM
For anyone attempting to remove the airbag, first disconnect the battery. I hate hearing of someone working on the airbag with a tool in their hand, the bag going off and the tool becomes embedded in their head......

cadgear
06-08-2004, 11:44 PM
That won't for-sure prevent a deployment. Remember, the airbag module has reserve energy to deploy the SRS even if battery power is lost. Follow the safest route: Disconnect the airbag fuse, the CPA connections for the airbag you are working near, and treat the airbag itself as though it were your life in your hands. And do NOT use any form of test equipment (continuity check, voltmeter, your tounge, etc) on the system wires. Let a professional handle it.

Remember, there's only one way to find out if the airbags work. And it shouldn't be in your driveway.

heymax
06-09-2004, 10:14 AM
That won't for-sure prevent a deployment. Remember, the airbag module has reserve energy to deploy the SRS even if battery power is lost. Follow the safest route: Disconnect the airbag fuse, the CPA connections for the airbag you are working near, and treat the airbag itself as though it were your life in your hands. And do NOT use any form of test equipment (continuity check, voltmeter, your tounge, etc) on the system wires. Let a professional handle it.

Remember, there's only one way to find out if the airbags work. And it shouldn't be in your driveway.

Thats why I follow my Haines manual which contains all the safety precautions. Proffessionals tend to handle only one thing most times and thats all your money. I've had Proffessionals replace stuff that wasn't bad and soak you further. I work hard for my money and I try to do most of my own work on my car. I had a problem with my ABS and a guy in town wanted to replace my whole ABS system for 600 to 800 dollars and I checked it my self and found one broken wire and replaced it myself at a cost of $0. Care should be taken at all times and if you don't feel comfortable then take it to a mechanic.

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